If you find that your car won’t start, it can often mean that you have a dead battery. There are other problems that can cause your car not to start, but you should check the battery first. If your battery is dead, you may be able to get your car jump started and get to a store to replace it. Batteries can last for up to six years, but they can go dead for a number of reasons. Normally, this happens when something else is draining the battery while the car is parked.
When you drive your car, the car battery charges. Another reason why car batteries die is when people leave their car sitting for a long period of time. Because the car hasn’t been started and thus hasn’t had a chance to charge the battery, the battery might die. No matter the reason, read on to learn how to tell if your car battery is dead.
Your Engine Cranks Slowly and Won’t Turn Over
The function of your car’s battery is to provide power to the starter so that when you turn the car over, the starter can get the engine running. When the battery is dead, you may hear anything from a slow cranking sound to a few clicks. When you hear this and the engine does not turn over, you likely have a dead battery.
Sometimes, you will notice the battery going bad for a few days before it finally dies, but there are times when it works fine one day and is dead the next time you try to start the car. The difference lies in whether your battery is old and needs to be replaced or there is something that was not turned off that drained the battery. When you turn your car off, anything that is running, including the lights or the radio, will run off of the battery. If you leave them on by mistake, you might find your battery dead the next morning.
When You Turn the Key, You Have No Lights or Radio
If you get in and turn your key, you may not have any lights or radio. If you have a new car with keyless entry, your remote may not work at all. This is a good indicator that your battery is dead. When your battery is functioning properly and holds its charge, you will see lights, hear sounds, and be able to play the radio without having to start your car. You will not be able to do any of these with a dead battery.
When you find that you have a dead battery, make sure that you turn your lights and radio to the off position. You can try to get a jump start so that you can drive. If you have a set of jumper cables, you only need someone with a car, and you can connect their battery to yours. You can then use the charge from their battery to get your car started. If your battery is okay but was out of juice, it will start to charge as soon as your engine turns over. If not, you can drive to a garage or an auto parts store to replace your battery.
Your Battery Light on the Dash Turns On
Many cars today have a light on the dash that comes on when the battery dies or needs to be replaced. The light looks like a battery, so you will not mistake it for something else. If this light comes on, you will need to replace your battery relatively soon.
It can be very inconvenient to have your battery die, but it is one of the easiest car problems to fix. As long as you can find a pair of jumper cables and a friend to help, you should be able to get your car started.